THE NEWS WRAP: Big miners threaten to pull projects in wake of Queensland budget’s royalty hikes

Mining giants BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata have threatened to scrap projects in Queensland after the state government hiked royalties by $1.6 billion in its budget.

 

The Liberal-National Party’s first Queensland budget in over a decade revealed plans to axe more than 14,000 public sector jobs, but it’s the surprise rise in coalmining royalties that has the miners claiming that jobs and investments are at risk.

 

Confidence takes August dip

 

Australian business confidence dipped in August, with concerns over the resources industry reversing a rise in sentiment the previous month.

 

National Australia Bank’s monthly business poll found that confidence dropped from +3 in July to -2 last month.

 

However, despite the decline in confidence, actual trading conditions improved, moving up from -3 in July to +1 in August.

 

Zuckerberg laments Facebook share price

 

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, has spoken out for the first time about the social media giant’s botched public listing.

 

Zuckerberg said that it was “disappointing” that Facebook’s stock is trading at around half of its debut price of $38, set at its IPO in May.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 71.57 points, or 0.54%, to 13,325.86. The Australian dollar was up to US104 cents.

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